Hasina inaugurated a 10-day programme on Wednesday, Bangabandhu’s birth anniversary, at the National Parade Ground. The curtains on the celebrations will be drawn on Mar 26, the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
“On this day in 1920, a child was born in a secluded village Tungipara. The child, who came to this earth enlightening the lap of mother Sheikh Saira Khatun and father Sheikh Lutfur Rahman, illuminated the life of the Bengali community and brought freedom,” the prime minister said.
Highlighting the magnitude of Bangabandhu’s achievements, which set an impoverished nation to the path of economic prosperity, Hasina said, “Our freedom is the fruit of the success of the continuous struggle for the status of mother language started by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib on March 11, 1948 with the ultimate target of political-economic and cultural emancipation of Bengalis.”
“It was a war-ravaged country, which was under hundreds of years of subjugation. In just three and a half years, he carried out the mammoth task of building a full-fledged sovereign state where people were suffering from exploitation, deprivation, hunger, and poverty. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had done everything from the impossible.”
Hasina also extended her greetings on the occasion of National Children’s Day, which coincides with Bangabandhu’s birth anniversary in Bangladesh.
To commemorate the twin celebrations, the National Parade Ground has been colourfully bedecked with banners and festoons put up on different roads across the capital while buildings have been lit up in multiple colours.
As many as 5,000 artists and performers from home and abroad are participating in the 10-day event.
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih attended the inauguration programme on Wednesday, while Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga all delivered video messages to the people of Bangladesh on the occasions.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the friendly countries and leaders who extended us with necessary help during our great Liberation War, the struggles for freedom, and the post-war reconstruction of the country,” said Hasina.
The Awami League chief also emphasised the socio-economic strides made by Bangladesh, with the country graduating from the UN’s least developed country categorisation last month.
“The wait for the economic emancipation of the people of Bangladesh is coming to an end today. Today we are going to celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the Golden Jubilee of Independence at a particular time when Bangladesh has received the final recommendation to join from the list of Least Developed Countries in the world to the respectful group of Developing Nations,” she said.
“Our per capita income has exceeded the respectable limit of US$2000; the poverty rate has been declined below 20.5 percent; the country has become self-sufficient in food grain production; the average life expectancy has increased to 73 years. Bangladesh has made tremendous strides in the socio-economic index. Today’s achievement is the result of the relentless efforts of the last 12 years of the Bangladesh Awami League in government and the tireless labour of the people.”
Hasina believes Bangladesh’s ascent on the world stage is exemplified by its success in tackling the “destructive waves of the coronavirus pandemic.” Nevertheless, the Bangladesh leader urged the people not to lower their guard amid an uptick in coronavirus cases and deaths in recent weeks.
She also warned about the active threat of “anti-Bangladesh forces” both at home and abroad and said, “They want to disparage this achievement through various malpractices. On the birthday of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, let us unitedly resist all evil-sprouts and take the beloved motherland forward towards the path of development and progress.”
“Now it’s time to move forward. There is no chance to look behind. Overcoming all obstacles, we shall establish this country as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s exploitation-deprivation-free, hunger-poverty-illiteracy-free, non-communal Golden Bangladesh.”